Asia's naphtha crack for first-half September ended the week at a four-session high of US$31.60/ton, as feedstock crude oil prices eased, as reported by Reuters. But spot demand for naphtha this week has remained mostly muted and purchase tenders for first-half September cargoes delivery have yet to be seen, industry sources said.
Buyers were either holding back purchases in view of falling crude prices or had term cargoes to tie them over temporarily, they added. Asia's gasoline crack rose to $8.28 a barrel, highest since Monday, supported by tighter supplies following production cuts.
Gasoline stocks held independently at the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) refining and storage hub surged 12% or 131,000 tonnes in the week to Thursday to hit a three-week high of 1.227 million tons, data from Dutch consultancy Insights Global showed. This contrasted the sharp fall in Singapore gasoline inventories as cargoes from India to Singapore were absent and Taiwan had reduced its exports to Singapore.
US Gulf of Mexico offshore crude oil production and natural gas output both remained cut by 19% on Thursday in the meantime because of shutdowns forced by Tropical Storm Barry, the US government said. That equals 335,000 barrels per day of crude oil. Kenya is planning on buying a total of 438,000 tonnes of oil products for September to October delivery at Kipevu oil terminal (KOT), out of which 74,000 tonnes are gasoline.
Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA partly restarted activity at its 645,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Amuay refinery where a blackout halted operations in early July, Reuters reported.